« PreviousContinue »
1. The Shephard and the Philofopher.
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain.
His head was silver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him fage :
In fummer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penn'd the fold :
His hours in cheerful.labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew :..
His wisdom, and his honest fame,
Thro' all the country rais'd his name.
A deep philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The shepherd's homely éottage fought ;
And thus explor'd his reach of thought:
Whence is thy learning ? Hath thy toil-
O'er books consum'd the midnight-oil?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd
And the valt fenfe of Plató weigh'd?
Hath Socrates thy foul refin'd?
And halt thou fathom'a Tully's mind?
Or, like the wife Ulysses, thrown
By various fates on realms unknown,
Haft thou thro' many cities stray'd,
Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd ?
The shepherd modestly reply'd
I ne'er the paths of learning try'd;
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws, and arts:
For man is practis'd in difguise;
He cheats the most discerning eyes :
Who' by chat search shall wiler
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gain'd
Was all from simple nature drain’d:
Hence my life's maxims took their rise ;
Hence grew my settled hate to vice.
The daily labours of the bee
soul to industry.
Who can observe the careful ant,
And not provide for future want?
My dog (the trustiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind :
I mark his true, his faithful way ;
And in my service copy Tray.
In constancy and nuptial love,
1 learn my daty from the dove.
The hen, who from the chilly air
With pious wing protects her care,
And every fowl that flies at large,
Instructs me in a parent's charge.
From Nature, too, I take my rule
To shun contempt and ridicule.
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear ::
Can grave and formal pass for wife, ',
When men the folemn owl despise ?
My tongue within my lips I rein;
For who talks much must talk in vain :
We from the wordy torrent fly:
Who liftens to the chatt'ring pye?
Nor would I with felonious flight,
By Atealth invade my neighbour's right:
Rapacious animals we hate;
Kites, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate.
Do not we just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.-
Thus every object of creation
Can furnish hints for contemplation ;
And, from the most minute and meany?
A virtuous mind can morals glean.
Thy fame is just, the fage replies ::
Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author's pen;
Books as affected are as men:
But he who studies nature's laws,
Erom certain truth his maxims draws};
And those, without our schools, suffice
To make men moral, good, and wife.
II. Ode to Leven later..
ON Leven's banks, while free to rove
And tune the rural pipe to lovė,
I envied not the happiest fwain
That ever trode thArcadian plain.
Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source ;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,.
With white, round, polish?d pebbles spread;
While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood,
In myriads, cleave thy cryftal flood :
The springing trout, in speckled pride ; :
The salmon, monarch of the tide ;
The ruthlefs pike, intent on war ;
The silver eel, and mottled par..
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters' make,
By bowers of birch and groves of pine,
And hedges flower'd with eglantine.
Still on thy banks, fo gaily green,
May numerous herds and flocks be seen ;
And lasses, chanting, o'er the pail;
And shepherds, piping in the dale ;
And ancient faith, that knows no guile ;
And industry, embrown'd with toil;
And hearts refolv'd, and hands prepard,
The blessings they erjey to guard..
111. Ode from the 19th Pfalnso.
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal. sky,
And spangl'd heav'ns, a thining frame,
Their great original proclaim.
Th' unwearied lun, from day to dayz.
Does his Creator's pow'r display ;
And publishes to ev'ry land
The work of an Almighty hando
Soon as the evening fhades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale, :
And nightly, to the list ning earth,
Repeats the story of her birth :
Whilst all the stars that round her burn, ,
And all the planets im their turn,
Confirm the tidings, as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though, in folemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball ? :
What though no real voice nor found.
Amid their radiant orbs be found?
In Reason’s' ear they all rejoice
And utter forih a glorious voice,',
For ever singing as they thine,
* The hand that made us is divine."
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain; ; Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's ling’ring blooms delay'd: Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease ! Seats of my youth, when ev'ry fport could please ! How often have I loiter'd o’er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! . How often have I paus’d on ev'ry charm ! : The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topp'd the neighbouring hill, The hawthorn bush, with feat's beneath the shade, , For talking age and whispering lovers made.
How often have I bless'd the coming day, When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play, And all the village-train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree !! While many a pastime circled in the shade, The young contending as the old survey'd ; And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, And flights of art, and feats of strength, went round;
And Nill, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band infpir'd:
The dancing pair, that simply fought renown
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain, miltrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place ;
The bashful virgin's fide-long looks of love ;
The matron's glance, that would those looks reprove.
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.
There, as I pass’d with careless steps and flow,
The mingling notes came foften'd from below.
The swain, responsive as the milkmaid fung;
The sober herd, that low'd to meet their young;
The noisy geese, that gabbled o'er the pool ;
The playful children, just let loose from school;
The watch-dog's voice, that bay'd the whisp’ring wind;
And the loud laugh, that spoke the vacant mind :-
These all, in soft confufion, fought the shade,
And, fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
V. The Painter who pleased Nobody and Every Body LEST men fufpe&t your tale untrue,
Keep probability in view.
The trav’ller, leaping o'er those bounds,
The credit of his book confounds;
Who with his tongue hath armies routed,
Makes ev'n his real courage doubted.
But flatt'ry never seems absurd ;
The flatter'd always take your word: .
Impoflibilities feem just;
They take the strongest praise on trust ::
Hyperboles, though e'er fo great,
Will still come short of self-conceit.
So very like a painter drew,
That every eye the picture knew ; -
He hit complexion, feature, air,
So just, that life itself was there.
No flatt'ry with his colours laid,
To bloom restor'd the faded maid ;
He gave each muscle all its strength; :
The mouth, the chin, the nose's length,